Special to WorldTribune.com
Ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has joined a growing list of Americans who are fed up with political correctness at the nation’s institutions of higher learning.
The “whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations – not to run away from them,” Bloomberg said in a speech to graduates at the University of Michigan, eliciting some applause, but also boos, according to Politico.
“The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure and shield students from ideas through ‘safe spaces,’ ‘code words’ and ‘trigger warnings’ is, in my view, a terrible mistake.”
Bloomberg, a socially liberal Republican during his three terms as New York’s mayor, said college students should “seek to get out of protective bubbles created by their parents and schools and not be afraid of occasional hurt feelings.”
“A microaggression is exactly that: micro,” he said. “And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views.”
Political correctness, which emerged in the 1980s, has become more militant in recent years as some seek to prevent any speech or action that might make someone uncomfortable.
“For example, by some campus guidelines, it is a microaggression to ask an Asian American or Latino American, ‘Where were you born?,’ because this implies that he or she is not a real American,” Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt wrote last year in The Atlantic.
Comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld are now avoiding college campuses, which long had been a regular stop on the stand-up circuit.
“I don’t play colleges,” Jerry Seinfeld said last year. “I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’ I’ll give you an example: My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ You know what my daughter says? She says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist.’ ‘That’s sexist.’ ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what the f–k they’re talking about.”